Through this initiative, a diverse coalition of agricultural, environmental and food security leaders are building a 21st century strategy and action plan to help Ohio agriculture become more sustainable and relevant in addressing 21st century challenges. Using a holistic and integrated approach to land management, the project leaders will identify, build and incubate platforms that support the sustainable production of food, feed, fiber, energy and ecosystem services and the delivery of these goods and services up the food chain all the way to the urban core.
While previous initiatives have been valuable planning exercises designed to “increase production of farms”, this initiative builds on that work and includes “getting food on tables”. In embracing the vision of Ohio agriculture helping to “feed the world”, we recognize that this starts with feeding our neighbors in Ohio.
Lisa has served as executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks since 2001. Lisa has researched, written, and secured over $200 million in grants from local, state, and national government sources and private foundations. As an organizer, she has worked to mobilize individuals and organizations around statewide campaigns and regional grassroots coalitions. As a trainer, she has worked with thousands of individuals and organizations on public policy issues, presented at numerous conferences and workshops, and authored more than a dozen publications to assist advocates. Previously, Lisa worked as the public policy director and statewide food and nutrition program coordinator for the Ohio Hunger Task Force.
Fred Yoder is a 4th generation farmer who has lived and farmed near Plain City, Ohio for over 40 years. Along with his wife Debbie and his 2 children, he grows corn, soybeans, and wheat. He also has operated a retail farm seed business for over 36 years and sells seed to all kinds of farmers including those who use biotech varieties, conventional varieties, and also to those who grow organic crops.
Fred has traveled many times to the European Union to speak about co-existence of production systems, where both organic and other production systems can thrive side by side as neighbors. Fred is a founding board member and now Co-Chair of “Solutions from the Land”. He also serves as Chair of the “North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance,” representing all factions of production agriculture, and working to ensure that farmer-to-farmer education and economics will be the driving force to adapting to feeding the world while dealing with a changing climate.
The Upper Midwest is faced with a growing demand for affordable and nutritious food, feed, fiber and energy, clean water in healthy watersheds, thriving wildlife habitats and other ecosystem services. However, this demand must be met with dwindling land resources and increasingly unpredictable weather. We need a transition to integrated landscape management of a resilient, climate-smart and multifunctional agriculture for our farms, communities and cities to continue to grow and prosper. Climate related disruptions to agricultural production in the region are projected to increase further over the next 25 years leading to declines in crop and livestock production due to pollination problems, weeds, diseases, insect pests, extreme weather and other naturally induced stresses. Furthermore, one in six Ohio families that are already experiencing low food security, as well as the even more troubling statistic, of one in four children that are not sure where their next meal will come from, is another challenge that must be overcome.
Through this initiative, which will link with and build upon the multi-stakeholder partnership’s that have been developing in the region, a diverse coalition of agricultural, environmental and food security leaders will construct a strategy and action plan for making Ohio agriculture more sustainable and resilient to the challenges before us. Based on a holistic and integrated approach to land management, the project leaders will identify, build and incubate value chains that support the sustainable production of food, feed, fiber, energy and ecosystem services, and the delivery of these goods and services up the food chain all the way to the most urban consumers.
While previous initiatives have largely been planning exercises designed to “increase production of farms”, our focus goes beyond this important dimension to include “getting food on tables”. In embracing the vision of Ohio agriculture helping to “feed the world”, we recognize that this starts with feeding our neighbors in Ohio.
Access to Nutritious Food
Climate Smart Agriculture
Explore the potential impacts of changing climatic conditions on Ohio agriculture, and develop recommendations for both mitigation and adaptation to these changes, including ways to: maintain sustainable production of food, feed, fiber and energy, while also ensuring the integrity of natural resources; improve the resilience of production systems and particularly their capacity to adapt to unanticipated and unpredictable change in the environment; mitigate present and future risks by building natural, human and social capital in Ohio agriculture
Explore ways for placing ecosystem services at the foundation of agricultural production in Ohio, both in terms of the basis for supporting production and in terms of the benefits resulting from sustainable agricultural land management, such as green space and water quality. Develop programs and pathways to transition agricultural production to this approach, decreasing the need for inputs to production from outside of Ohio, and for widespread understanding of, and appreciation for, the ecosystem services that both support and are provided by Ohio agriculture.
Valuing all forms, sizes and types of food, feed and fiber production systems, recommend: public policy frameworks; research, technology and infrastructure priorities (physical and social); market mechanisms; and risk management solutions that can be deployed to expand markets for regionally-produced crops, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy products, eggs, other agricultural products, value-added products, ecosystem services, and any other potential returns accruing from agriculture.